Well, the last time I was in Huntsville, AL was for Space Camp a long time ago - never thought I would be back here for an agility trial!! Didn't have a chance to check out the Space Center, though. This trial marks 6 months since we started competing in USDAA and Nari just turned 2 - I'm so proud at how well she's been doing!
Nari and I got there on Friday afternoon so we could set up our crate area - it was HOT - like high 90's HOT! Since this trial was indoors I thought I wouldn't need to bring the fan along. It was kind of hot in the building and I wish I would have brought the fan. But I still had Nari's cool coat so we were okay and I wore as little clothing as possible.
When we got the the livestock building that the trial was in, there was what looked like an abandoned planter with random trucks with horses in front. So of course I threw Nari in the box and took a picture of her surrounded by trunks! What is up with those two horses on that truck thingy?
We got to the hotel and Nari was super happy, she loves hotels! This room was huge. Here is she - happy to be at the hotel. You can see her favorite toy in the background, it's a squeeky curly lamb toy - she LOVES those things!
Didn't get any videos of this trial, but we do have some pictures so I made a short video with them:
I thought the trial went really well! It was our first time in Masters and we got two Masters Snooker Q's, a Q in Advanced Jumpers and finished our Advanced Jumpers tile!! Didn't Q in Masters Standard - those are hard because they fault you for refusals (not sure how many in our first go, but we got one in our second run) and I think we dropped a bar. But I still thought we did awesome anyway and it was so much fun! We totally bombed in Advanced Pairs Relay - our first partner was a really cute Jack Russell terrier mix, he was fast but also LOVED going in tunnels. It was quite cute, he must have went in the same tunnel 3 times in a row. I also volunteered to run a second time but we had to go immediately after the first and I sent Nari the wrong way into a tunnel. Even with all of the craziness we still had a blast, you really have to relax on those pair relays because you never know what is going to happen, but it's always fun.
I just love watching the Masters ring, we have several former/current world team members in our area so it is awesome to watch them run. We shared our crate space with this adorable corgi named Eve, she's won the USDAA Grand Prix at Nationals and has been on the world team - her and her handler are simply amazing!! Nari felt like being needy at this trial for some reason (she was crazier than normal) so I felt bad that she would start to squeak when I would leave her, but everyone around us was pretty nice about it at least.
Nari still has some issues - mainly start lines (she had an awesome start line on the first run, but then we slowly loose them), still some teeter uncertainty and I think she only missed one running contact but that was on a Gamblers course where I sometimes get lazy about verbally enforcing them and maintaining eye contact. Oh yeah, and I still have a long way to go with my handling 'skills'.